WORLD PREMATURITY AWARENESS MONTH
17th November 2021
A day to celebrate and remember all of our Preemie Warriors. Those still here and fighting every challenge they face. Also, to those who fought so damn hard but ultimately, they were far too good for this world.
Well hello everyone. It has been many many months since I provided you guys with any type of update. The boys have been coming on leaps and bounds, it is this tired twin mamma that has been having the less than ideal life experiences. With that being said I just couldn’t let this day – 17th November 2021 pass us by.
The boys being 15 weeks premature means this day is always a day that is close to my heart and always brings with it a day of reflection. Even though in science there appears to be no hereditary link with pre term labour, I do sometimes wonder if there is and it is just a lack of scientific studies. Each visit to the doctors I had since discovering I was pregnant I would pass on that my mother had went into preterm labour. I was always told ‘don’t worry about it’ and that ‘there is no hereditary link’ As my twin boys were ‘kicked out the womb’ at 25 weeks gestation, my mums body seemed to prefer the 26 week gestation mark. Speaking with other mums who have given birth early, there does seem to be a correlation between being born early and giving birth early. Of course this is pure conjecture and I am no scientist, but it does give me food for thought. On doing research now in 2021 there are some studies that suggest preterm labour can be genetic.
Possibly as time goes on there may be larger studies done to answer this question once and for all. If you speak to the doctors there is a definite mix of views. Some believing that preterm birth does run in families and some not. If preterm birth does run in families though this opens up more questions for me. Is it due to genetics? Is it due to environmental factors? Can IVF increase the chance of premature birth?
Lewis and Logan will be 7 this coming February. Wow, excuse me whilst I take a moment to let that scary thought sink in. The boys were in our local neonatal unit for 6 months. I remember every single day at that time feeling as though it was an eternity. The closer the boys got to be healthy enough for discharge the longer the days seem to go. sitting here in my kitchen remembering this feels like 5 minutes ago. Time has most definitely flown by. Facebook has many good and bad qualities but one of the things for me that makes it good is the memories that pop up each day when you log in. Just last week I shared a post to my friends and family celebrating the news that both of my boys were now oxygen free.
This seemed like such a massive milestone to smash. I remember feeling so so happy that I no longer had to try and peel off the stickers that kept their nasal cannulas in place. I would no longer have to Humph 2 x heavy oxygen cylinders as well as 2 x babies from house to car, from car to pram etc.
I would also no longer give the teacher of the local music makers and shakers class heart failure dancing around the class with a baby that had miles of O2 tubing attached. Seriously though, have you ever tried to do the hokey kokey with what felt like miles of tubing and not fall on your ass? trust me, it was not easy!!! I was just determined that my boys have the exact same experiences as other 8 month old babies. If I am being completely honest with myself I also wanted to have the exact same experiences as any other new mum would have as well.
Having a child born preterm brings with it a sense of loss, a sense of grief. In the moment, as a mum you are beside yourself with worry. Worry that your child, your precious innocent child will survive all the challenges that they face. Also extreme guilt. mummy guilt times a thousand, the irrational part of your brain that screams this is all your fault. Your child is suffering because you failed as a mum and couldn’t hold onto them for 9 months. Guilt from seeing my boys overcome obstacles that were directly due to their preterm birth which I always blamed myself for. I struggled with these feelings of guilt for many years and at times the negative thoughts creep back into my brain. It is only when the boys and I were all home again that the feeling of loss washed over me.
Grief for the 3 months of pregnancy that I missed.
Grief for the baby kicks that I didn’t feel.
Grief for the big pregnant belly/twin belly I did not get.
Hell even Grief for the baby shower I didn’t have, although Scotland in 2015 baby showers and gender reveals etc were not as commonly done as they are now.
Now, almost 7 years later, knowing I will never be pregnant again, I do feel sad knowing I will never experience the afore mentioned things but it does bother me less. After all of those years of fertility treatments I at least not only got to be pregnant but also got to bring my boys home which is sadly not the case for everyone. I not only know I am blessed but feel incredibly blessed and grateful. As much as I struggle navigating the world of what is neurotypical 6 year old behaviour and what is directly associated with the boys Additional Support Needs there is never a day that goes by that they don’t make me laugh and fill my heart with joy.
For many years I have always wanted to get a tattoo for my boys. To celebrate all of the hurdles they have overcame. This year I decided was the year to do it. I contacted my artist Laura McClintock who is well renowned within her field. She knows me well, also knows that I have no artistic bone in my body. I told her what I wanted and I can tell you, this wonderful lady did not disappoint. So last week I went to her shop in Stirling and saw the design for the first time. I instantly fell in love and so proud of my boys.
I will post another picture in the near future once the design is healed. The boys adore my new ink. They love the fact that mummy has their names on her skin so even when we are apart I always have my boys with me. Lewis also seemed to be impressed by mummy having Space Jam on her thigh – I didn’t have the heart to say nope sorry it is just your mum being a cat crazy lady and wanted a baby Sylvester to symbolise my boys. Also, at some point I may need to get Tweetie Pie added in. “I tawt I taw a puddy tat! I did, I did see a puddy tat!”
So, on this day I would like to give a massive shout out to our Preemie Warriors. They are the heart and soul to so many people not just their families. Over the years I have been fortunate enough to have so many people love my boys, pray for my boys – trust me there were so many people in my local chapel walking about with skint knees due to praying so much!! There have been old friends and new all having the common goal of putting good vibes out into the universe.
Please don’t forget the Mummy’s of our Preemie Warriors. We put all of our energy and love ❤️ into supporting our babies, but we get that strength from our close family, friends and support systems. Do not underestimate the power of an online support group. I have made friends with ladies I have never met but I know they have my back. Our common denominator?? Having twins. All mums are fantastic, however, I have only ever been a twin mum and have to say my fellow twin mums are rock stars. Never judging and always supporting,
As always, be kind to each other. We all have our own journey to travel. Together we can accomplish anything.
Scottish Twin Mamma.
I thought I had set this to automatically post on the 17th, however, I’m obviously useless with technology, so here it is 1 day late! x